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The CAC CA-15, commonly referred to as the CAC Kangaroo, was an Australian fighter aircraft powered by propellers.

It was meticulously crafted by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) during the course of World War II.

However, due to an extended development period, the project remained unfinished until after the war had concluded.

Unfortunately, the aircraft’s fate was sealed as it was terminated following flight testing, primarily because the emergence of jet aircraft was on the horizon.

In 1943, after successfully creating the Boomerang fighter for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), CAC initiated the development of a new interceptor and escort fighter due to the Boomerang’s increasing obsolescence against Japanese aircraft like the Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

Sir Lawrence Wackett, the head of CAC, suggested starting from scratch to design a high-performance fighter.

Fred David, the designer of the Boomerang, was appointed to lead an internal design team at CAC.

The government and RAAF approved the design concept proposal in June 1943, leading to the commencement of work under specification 2/43.

The inspiration for the design of the CA-15 stemmed from contemporary fighters, particularly the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

The designers had access to detailed information about this aircraft through Allied intelligence reports on captured planes.

Despite its superficial resemblance to the North American P-51 Mustang, the CAC design was not directly based on the American aircraft and had distinct performance objectives.

Throughout its development, the CA-15 was primarily tailored for radial engines, in contrast to the inline engines commonly used in fighters like the Mustang.

Interestingly, the progress of the CA-15 was hindered by a suggestion from Wackett, who recommended that CAC produce Mustangs under license instead of investing in the costly development of a unique design.

Nonetheless, it was believed that the CA-15 possessed capabilities that could potentially replace the P-51.

Initially, the CAC designers had intended to utilise the radial Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, which boasted a remarkable power output of 2,300 hp (1,715 kW) and featured a turbocharger.

Regrettably, this engine became unattainable, resulting in significant setbacks in the aircraft’s development.

Consequently, a decision was made to install the in-line Rolls-Royce Griffon Mk 61 engine, which offered a slightly lower power output of 2,035 hp (1,517 kW).

To facilitate the prototype’s construction, engines were procured from Rolls-Royce through a leasing arrangement.

It was envisioned that any engines used in the production models would be equipped with a three-stage supercharger, further enhancing their performance capabilities.





36 ft 2.5 in (11.036 m)


36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)


14 ft 2.75 in (4.3371 m)

Wing area

253 sq ft (23.5 m2)


NACA 66 series

Empty weight

7,540 lb (3,420 kg)

Gross weight

9,500 lb (4,309 kg)

Max take-off weight

12,340 lb (5,597 kg)

Fuel capacity

220 imp gal (264 US gal; 1,000 l) in two wing tanks + 30 imp gal (36 US gal; 136 l) in one fuselage tank + 2 optional 100 imp gal (120 US gal; 455 l) underwing drop tanks.


1 × Rolls-Royce Griffon 61 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 2,035 hp (1,517 kW) with 18 psi (124.1 kPa) boost


4-bladed Rotol, 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) diameter constant-speed propeller


Maximum speed

442 mph (711 km/h, 384 kn) at 25,600 ft (7,803 m)

368 mph (320 kn; 592 km/h) at sea level


1,150 mi (1,850 km, 1,000 nmi) internal fuel

Ferry range

2,540 mi (4,090 km, 2,210 nmi) maximum fuel at 5,000 ft (1,524 m) at 1,600 rpm

Service ceiling

34,000 ft (10,000 m)

Rate of climb

4,900 ft/min (25 m/s)

Time to altitude

20,000 ft (6,096 m) in 5 minutes 30 seconds

Wing loading

37.5 lb/sq ft (183 kg/m2) normal

48.8 lb/sq ft (238.3 kg/m2)


0.243 hp/lb (0.399 kW/kg)



6 × 0.50 in. (12.7 mm) machine guns (250 rounds each)


Provision for 10 × rockets.


2 × 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs.


Military Aircraft of Australia-Stewart Wilson.

Wirraway, Boomerang and Ca-15 in Australian Service-Stewart Wilson.

Australia’s Lost Fighter – The CA-15-David Clark.










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